With Easter so festive, who needs Christmas?

Decorations: You can adorn your house now with strings of Easter lights and an abundance of egg and bunny ornaments, as seasonal decor expands beyond December and into the rest of the year.

March 24, 2002|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Staff

When it comes to celebrating Easter, nothing does it like an egg. Unless it's a rabbit.

Hang strings of bright Easter egg lights from Target or invest in a glass rabbit box hand-pressed in a vintage mold from Williams-Sonoma. People are decorating their homes seasonally more than ever, and this spring stores are filled with colorful egg decor, bunnies, chicks and pastel home accessories.

"This is the first time we've had anything for Easter," says Bette Kahn of Crate & Barrel. The housewares and furnishings chain is featuring beaded egg ornaments (beading is a hot new look for Easter accessories), egg-shaped candles, an egg plate that holds two dozen eggs, a bunny cake mold, lots of Easter cookie cutters, pretty little baskets, and table linens in spring green and yellow.

One reason may be, says Kahn, that gift-giving at Easter is becoming more of a tradition. It used to be that a flowering plant was the usual gift for the holiday. Now there are all sorts of choices with spring and Easter motifs.

Red Envelope, the online gift company at www.redenvelope. com, offers -- among other things -- hand-painted chocolate eggs, egg-shaped soaps, bunny-shaped candles, and herbal eggs made from aromatic boxwood and dried flowers (roses or lavender).

But with their Easter offerings, stores are including housewares and accessories that can be used throughout the spring.

"We focus more on the season," says Christiane Dwyer of Pier 1 Imports. "Holiday rather than Christmas, harvest instead of Halloween and spring rather than Easter. The public wants to decorate seasonally, but they aren't into little wooden figurines."

The home accessories retailer is carrying egg trees, ornaments, and various decorative chicks, bunnies and eggs. But its stores, and others like it, are featuring them with china and linens in pastels and greens, yellows and blues that will look good the whole spring season. In its "Easter brunch" displays, Williams-Sonoma, the upscale housewares retailer, is selling asparagus plates and asparagus fern linens as well as alabaster eggs in a glass basket.

Local specialty shops are getting into the act, too. Menagerie in Roland Park has lots of eggs and the traditional Easter animals (including beaded bunnies) -- plus roosters, a currently trendy motif in home decor.

"All kinds of animals are getting into the Easter scene," says owner Margo McClellan. "There's a lot out there this year."

Spring things

Among our favorite Easter and spring items are these:

* Unscented Easter egg candles in reusable white ceramic egg cups. Six for $36. Red Envelope

* "Welcome" running rabbit, wooden door decoration. $14.99. Target

* Egg-shaped hors d'oeuvre plates in pink, lavender, yellow and pale green with coordinated napkins. Set of four for $35. Pottery Barn

* Copy of a Meissen bunny figurine with a basket on its back. $27. Menagerie

* Small steel wire baskets with shiny silver finish to fill with pastel eggs or candies. Set of three for $17.95. Crate & Barrel

* Easter egg wreath with bay laurel, fresh pepperberry leaves, herbs and natural-looking decorative eggs. $49. Williams-Sonoma

* Egg tree with six glittery pastel eggs. $12. Pier 1 Imports

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